Once you’ve finally taken the plunge (pun intended) and come out of the closet, the first thing many of us do is try to find others who share our same “interests.” This occurs for many reasons. One is to try to get laid; a second is to actually make some friends.
While the line between friends and fuck buddies is notoriously blurry in the gay community, some of us like to keep those lines distinct. For those of you who want to make friends who are gay, and not gay friends whom you secretly lust after, you have your work cut out for you.
But there’s hope! While gay bars are usually the first step in seeking refuge in the storm of a hetero-normative world, it should be considered just that: The first step. A baby step, if you will. Gay bars are by no means the beginning and the end of one’s gay clique. But, if you are at a loss as to how to find some queer folk you can hang with, never fear; Prism is here!
Type and kind
The first thing you have to do when trying to seek out and make new, awesome gay and lesbian friends is to identify what kinds of friends you want to make. Do you want to meet other gays and lesbians that you can go out and drink with? Do you want to make LGBTQ school allies? Do you want to meet healthy and fit queers?
Just like in everyday life, the type and quality of people you surround yourself with is up to you. Furthermore, the type and quality of gay friend you surround yourself with is also up to you, since it takes so much effort to reach out and meet these people. While at first it may seem like you have to just hang with the first gays that come along, you do have options. And those options usually involve putting yourself out there and spreading yourself thin, so to speak.
Location, location, location
What do I mean by that? I mean that you have to do the leg work. You have to research and find other gays in your area that are interested in things that don’t involve being gay. Pick any area of life that interests you. It could be politics or sports. It could be charity or spirituality. Any of these common areas of interest invariably have a sub-group of gays that also support them.
Do you want to know a secret? The best place to find other gay people to hang with is on the Internet. I know. You’re saying that meeting people online is for old, lonely, pathetic losers. Not so! The Internet is a powerful tool to use in launching your personal gay war. As with most things in college, you have to do the research. You have to be the one to research what groups exist and when they meet. Then you have to make a sincere effort to get involved and stay involved.
Disclaimer: the Internet is also a place where you can, if you want, find sexual and romantic partners. While that’s fine and dandy, that isn’t exactly what we’re talking about here. We’re talking about finding other gays on sites such as MeetUp.com, not horny lesbos on OkCupid.
Do not troll
One of the great things about branching out and making new gay friends is that you’re surrounded by gay people. Hooray! What could possibly be wrong with this equation?
Well, let’s see. There’s group inbreeding. That’s where members of a group swap partners and change relationship status with each other every other week. Then there’s posing/lurking. This is when you pretend to be interested in the group, but you’re actually looking for someone or something more. Wink, wink.
Do not join gay-oriented groups in the hopes of landing a date because, for some reason, this always backfires. It’s as if the other in the group can sense your true motivations and that automatically marks you as someone who can’t be trusted for the simple fact that you’re hiding your true intentions. If there’s one thing that you need to keep clear, it’s who you consider a friend and who you consider a potential lover. You have to put yourself out there to attain both, but you can’t approach all gays you meet the same way. Decide who you want to befriend and who you want to fuck. Then go from there.